Kindle British Mystery Book Club discussion

Scared to Death (Detective Kay Hunter, #1)
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Book Club Selection > Spoiler Discussion (May 2018) Value Read - Scared to Death, by Rachel Amphlett

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David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod

This is a spoiler thread for the May Value Book Read, Scared to Death, by Rachel Amphlett
Post in here if you wish to comment on the book and discuss details that may spoil or give away important or pertinent details for those who haven't read or finished the book yet.

Bill Kupersmith | 589 comments Mod
I’m but 9 chapters in and my instincts are screaming, ‘inside job’!

AngryGreyCat (angrygreycatreads) | 565 comments I liked this one as a police procedural. I just wished they would have explored/exposed more of the "dark web" activity that was driving some of the motivation.

I read another book with a similar web based crime motivation, I See You by Clare Mackintosh and that spent more time delving into the motivations/mechanics of the crime.

Erunyauve | 168 comments The first half of the book was quite good - I like Kay and what little we see of her husband, and the killer is interesting. I read the author's afterword, however, and I think that's where she went wrong - she created the characters, but didn't know what she wanted to do with the plot. By the middle of the book, we know everything, and it felt like she was making the rest up as she went along. It would have been a stronger book if she'd gone back to the start and paced it out.

Some of the behaviour was a bit over-the-top. Her superior is almost a caricature (I had him pegged for the third man). We have a teacher who gave Eli makeup instead of reporting his bruises to social services. The bullying theme was rather shallow - I think the author wanted us to care about the victims, but also give Eli motivation. We have insulin stored under a bed - I had a diabtetic cat, and insulin can't warm up at all, or it's useless. One of her team turns out to be the father of the first victim's best friend, a conflict that should have been revealed by the father from the start.

The ending saved the book for me - Emma's determination and the ticking clock, Eli's final questionning - all of it works well together. Granted, Kay somehow manages to have a conversation while being choked to death - might want to rewrite that bit with a knife. I did feel that I might want to read another book in the series - hopefully, with the first book behind her, the author has learnt to plan a bit and avoid writing herself into corners.

Bill Kupersmith | 589 comments Mod
Own a double breasted blazer but don't have a mustache and I don't belong to a golf club so I don't really want to bring back hanging, but with the subhuman degenerates who are the villains in this mystery-thriller, "they'll be put away for a very long time" (as DS Kay says) doesn't satisfy my notion of justice. (Really stupid villain #1 does hang when he discovers what he's involved in, but it's felo de se). They make "snuff" videos of the slow agonised deaths of teenaged girls, described in too much detail for me. Publishing a book with a villain trying something similar, and he'll not get out alive. For about half this is a pretty fair police procedural but then it simply turns into a "will the police get there in time before the teen drowns in the sewer drain?" As it turns out, she's rescued by a cop who we've only just found out is her dad! Definitely OTT. The main detective Kay is likeable but neither the cloud of suspicion she works under or the snake in the kitchen her husband the vet's treating do anything for the plot. Surprised that this seems to be a series with legs - all very routine. I was also most surprised the alcoholic mother (who does come to an appropriate end) of lowlife villain #3 had a motor car with manual choke - I've not seen one of those since the early sixties. Instead of abducting and killing girls, he should have gone into classic car restoration. I think a good Morris Minor can go for 15K.

David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
Love the comments Bill.

maybe I'm a tadge younger than you but all my first few cars were manual chokes back in the early eighties.

Bill Kupersmith | 589 comments Mod
I had a 1975 Ford Capri & a 1982 Escort and neither had a manual choke. You had to hold the accelerator pedal down before turning the key, though and they were both pretty terrible cars by today’s standards.

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